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Proposal P1057 - Review of the kava standard

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Last updated ​October 2022. ​​​​

Public call for submissions​ 12 month review of the kava standard

Call for submissions – 6 October 2022 (pdf 281 kb) ​(word 154 kb) 



Background 

P1057 was an urgent proposal to amend the kava standard in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code).

In March 2022, the FSANZ Board agreed amendments to the Code to:

  • ensure kava beverage is prepared and consumed in line with historically-safe practices
  • make explicit the current prohibition on the use of processing aids and food additives in the manufacture or processing of dried or raw kava root and kava beverages, and
  • require that kava is sourced from Noble varieties of the kava plant, which have a history of safe use. 

The changes:

  • allow for continued use of kava in historically-safe and culturally-appropriate ways and
  • ensure that public health and safety will continue to be protected following commencement of commercial importation of kava into Australia under the Pacific Step-up kava pilot.
Kava beverage has a long history of consumption in the South Pacific and plays an important role in traditional community ceremonies. FSANZ undertook public consultation on proposed changes to the standard in December 2021. Feedback and advice from consumers, government agencies, the kava industry and academics with expertise in kava was considered in finalising the Code amendments

See the Initial and Final Consideration Reports below. 

The Code amendments take immediate effect in Australia. New Zealand will undertake further engagement with the Pasifika community over the next 12 months while FSANZ assesses the amendments. During this time the previous standard will remain in effect in New Zealand.

12 month review

FSANZ has 12 months to assess the amendments and re-affirm them or prepare a new proposal to consider further changes to the standard. This review must be completed by 23 March 2023. 

The assessment will include a review of labelling requirements and a 6 week public consultation period anticipated for September-October 2022. FSANZ will have regard to all submissions in finalising its assessment. A final Approval Report will be prepared for the consideration of the FSANZ Board and the Food Ministers' Meeting.

Timelines

StageTimeline
Commence 12 month review 23 March 2022
Undertake the reviewLate March – early Sept 2022
Release public Call for Submissions Mid Sept – late Oct 2022
Address submissions and finalise Approval ReportLate Oct 2022 – early March 2023
FSANZ Board meetingMarch 2023


Proposal P1057 Reports

Final Consideration Report - 23 March 2022 (pdf 404 kb) (word 218 kb)

Initial Consideration Report (pdf 962 kb)(word​​ 142 kb)

​Submissions(zip 6.24 mb)​

Administrative Assessment - 6 December 2021(pdf 87.7 kb)​ ​(word 62.1 kb)  

Declaration of urgency(pdf 61.4 kb)​

Background

On 28 October 2021, the Chair of the Food Ministers' Meeting, Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, requested FSANZ consider the need to prepare a proposal on kava, and whether to declare it urgent.

FSANZ raised Proposal P1057 and declared it urgent. The purpose of the proposal was to review the Code – including the existing Standard 2.6.3 - to ensure it continues to protect public health and safety following the commencement of commercial importation of kava into Australia. 

Through Proposal P1057, FSANZ aimed to clarify the Code to ensure ongoing consistency with the original policy intent of the kava standard to:

  • limit the preparation and consumption of kava beverages to historically safe preparation and use, and
  • ensure that food additives and processing aids may not be added to dried or raw kava root or kava beverages.

Standard 2.6.3 (before the review)

​Standard 2.6.3 in the Code provides permissions for the sale of kava and has been in place for a number of years. The Code prohibits kava or any substance derived from kava being sold as a food or an ingredient or component of a food, unless specifically permitted by Standard 2.6.3. Permitted kava products are:

  • a beverage obtained by the aqueous suspension of kava root using cold water only, and not using any organic solvent; or
  • dried or raw kava root.

Warning statements are also required: 'use in moderation' and 'may cause drowsiness'. More information on labelling is available here(pdf 126 kb).​​​

Kava also is regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as an ingredient for certain scheduled medicines.

More information

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